WAW: Writer Advice Wednesday

My writer pick today is Max Lucado

Here’s a rich, luscious excerpt of Max’s writing advice:

‘I came to believe this much: good words are worth the work. Well-written words can change a life. Words go where we never go. Africa. Australia. Indonesia. My daughter was in Bangalore, India, last summer and saw my books in the display window of a shop.

Written words go to places you’ll never go. . . . and descend to depths you’ll never know.

The readers invite the author to a private moment. They clear the calendar, find a corner, flip on the lamp, turn off the television, pour the tea, pull on the wrap, silence the dog, shoo the kids. They set the table, pull out the chair, and invite you, “Come, talk to me for a moment.”

And when it’s time to write, write with clarity. Good writing reflects clear thinking. Here’s a tip: Cherish clarity. Make it your aim to summarize the entire book in one sentence. Distill the message into a phrase, and protect it. Stand guard. Defy interlopers. No paragraph gets to play unless it contributes to the message of the book.

Follow the example of John a writer of one of the Bible’s Gospels. Jesus worked many other miracles for his disciples, and not all of them are written in this book. But these are written so that you will put your faith in Jesus ( John 20:30–31 CEV).

John self-edited. He auditioned his stories to fit the manuscript. He littered his floor with edited paragraphs. Good writers do this. They tap the Delete button and distill the writing.

They bare-bones and bare-knuckle it. They cut the fat and keep the fact. Concise (but not cute). Clear (but not shallow). Enough (but not too much). Make every word earn its place on the page. Not just once or twice, but many times. Sentences can be like just-caught fish—spunky today and stinky tomorrow.

Reread until you’ve thrown out all the stinkers. Rewrite until you have either a masterpiece or an angry publisher. Revise as long as you can. “God’s words are pure words, pure silver words refined seven times in the fires of his word-kiln” (Psalm 12:6 MSG).

Ernest Hemingway espoused rewriting: “I rise at first light . . . and I start by rereading and editing everything I have written to the point I left off. That way I go through a book I’m writing several hundred times . . . Most writers slough off the toughest but most important part of their trade—editing their stuff, honing it and honing it until it gets an edge like the bullfighter’s estoque, the killing sword.” Describing A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway said, “I had rewritten the ending thirty-nine times in manuscript and . . . worked it over thirty times in proof, trying to get it right.”

I find it helps to read the work out loud. First to myself, then to anyone who is kind enough to listen. I vary the locations of the reading. What sounds good in the study must sound good on the porch. What sounds good to me must sound good to my editors. Sure, editing hurts. So does a trip to the dentist. But someone needs to find the cavities.’

Read the full article at maxlucado.com/writing-corner-tips-tools-aspiring-authors-artists/)

Canva; Graphic Design tool for ‘un-artistic’ writers

So you have a blog. You need a header banner.

You just finished compiling an e-book resource. You need a cover.

You want to take your writing services to the pro level. (I can help you with improving your writing game, get in touch btw. :)) You need a business card.

But you’re a word’ person. Being visual isn’t your thing? Hire a graphic designer? Definitely. But what if your budget can’t handle it right now?

Then, try Canva.

Canva-2

Canva is a free, online graphic design tool that you can use to create book covers, business cards, social media banners, logos, flyers, posters, brochures, infographics and yes, even digital holiday cards.

There is Canva for Android (Yay!), Canva for IOS and for desktop. It provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. It is used by non-designers as well as professionals, and the tools can be used for both web and print media design and graphics.

Canva started back in 2007 when Melanie Perkins, one of the founders, was studying at the University of Western Australia. Melanie taught students how to use programs such as InDesign and Photoshop — programs that people found hard to learn and even harder to use.
After coming up an idea for an online tool to create school yearbooks (probably an earlier version of the now-Canva), Melanie and Canva co-founder Cliff Obrecht took out a loan and brought in a great tech team and started their own company.

The website rapidly became popular, with more than 750,000 users in its first year. Social-media and technology expert Guy Kawasaki joined the company as chief evangelist in April 2014.

And maybe you already know about Canva. But were probably turned off because they had no Android app.

Well, hello! Canva is finally available on Android. This move is indeed an eagerly anticipated one for users of the popular design application. Before now, Android users were confined to using the app only on desktop.


Canva for Android is available in 179 countries and 42 languages, eventually growing to 100 languages by the end of the year, according to the company.

As per Canva’s different offerings, the app is available in three tiers. It starts with Canva, which is “Forever Free”, followed by Canva for Work for $12.95 per user per month. If you want the Canva Enterprise version, you have to get in touch with the company.


Canva is extremely useful for designs for Small Businesses
The vast majority of small business owners wear many different hats when it comes to running the day-to-day operations of their company. Designing, publishing and posting images and other content on their websites, social media page and store has now become par for the course. Canva makes it much easier to carry out these tasks.

You can download the Canva app for all operating systems here .

Canva offers free step-by-step design tutorials that will take you through the design process.

Canva is my go-to graphic design app currently. What’s yours? Share them with me in the comments section! 🙂 🙂

Sources

http://www.techtoolsforwriters.com

Smallbiztrends.com

Canva.com

 

Hey Writers. Here are some writing tips for the New Year!

Ready to set the regular new year resolutions? Hold on first. New Writing Tips alert!

A content writer’s new year resolutions are different. This article here explains how to set such.

Now, to the business of this post *rubs palms together*

Ready?

Here are 5 Content Writing Directions to write on this new year.

1. ‘REFLECT’ articles.

You can start off with themes that resonate with the trend of planning for the new year. Writing on such themes are still interesting to your reader even up till March or the middle of the year! (shoutout to the late goal-setters 😄)

Here are a few examples:

  • Why do people make resolutions?
  • How can you improve your life in 2018.

        2. Listicles

        They’re among the most popular articles online, used by Buzzfeed, NY Times, and the average blogger in your neighborhood (☺)

        A listicle is an article written as a list, sometimes in bullet points.

        They have their pros and cons as seen below, but still, they rock and are an instant eye catcher.

        image03

        But let’s face it, people love to read listicles. It’s not just a trend. It’s scientifically proven!

        That’s why the article you’re reading right now is a listicle. So, what listicles can you write that will benefit your audience greatly in the new year?

        3. Frequently asked questions

        FAQs. Be warned that posting answers to frequently asked questions online won’t stop people from asking anyway.

        They do, however, serve as a resource for people, and they are often featured on e-commerce websites—but overlooked on blogs. FAQs are blogging gold in any age.

        Google’s algorithm uses FAQs, questions, and other popular topics as part of its Knowledge Graph. If you’re lucky, you might score a top spot in this coveted place. So, write some FAQs in your field and post them today!

        4. People features

        Featuring select people—customers, professionals, authorities, leaders, etc.,—is a great way to add a personal touch to your blog/social media and create a sense of connection with your old and new readers.

        One of such blogs doing this today is Humans of New York.

        image05

        Try featuring real people—including photos, quotes, and other personal information— to produce strong engagement with your audience.

        5. An open letter to your hero or life goal.

        Just like the Open Letter to Fela I wrote last month, you can have a regular schedule of writing open letters to popular people in your field or those your readers connect with. It might never get read by those actual people, but your audience is sure to love it.

        I said so.

        So, those are 5 easy content ideas to build your posts around this new year. Happy New Month again!


        Before you leave…

        If you liked this post, please share this?

        Seriously. It helps a lot with the growth of this blog.

        I know most people don’t share because they feel that us bloggers don’t need their “tiny” social share. But here’s the truth… 

        I built this blog piece by piece, one small share at a time, and will continue to do so. So thank you so much for your support, my reader.

        Still have a question? Reach me at demilhadey@gmail.com